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Cornus alba, sanguinea and stolonifera varieties are dogwoods for winter bark effect. They are very hardy and tolerant of cold, damp sites. Hard pruning in late March will stimulate vigorous growth leading to better stem colour in winter. These dogwoods are satisfactory in most soil types, preferring sun but shade tolerant. They are most effective planted in bold groups and associate well with water features.
The other main type below are the flowering dogwoods. These are some of the loveliest flowering shrubs and small trees in cultivation. They are hardy but originate from countries with hot summers which ripen the growth, improving hardiness and flower production. In the UK, therefore, plant in as warm and sheltered a site as possible, ideally in rich, lime free soil. No pruning is necessary.